PerspectiveSignal Transduction

IκB Kinases: Kinsmen with Different Crafts

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Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 271-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.271

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Understanding how the master transcription factor, NF-kB, is activated is important for unraveling the different molecular events in embryonic development and tissue differentiation. Four reports in this issue reveal new findings about two kinases, IKKa and IKKb, that target IkB (a protein that binds to and inhibits NF-kB) for degradation. As discussed by May and Ghosh in their Perspective, IKKb is the kinase responsible for activating NF-kB after cells bind the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-a and interleukin-1, whereas IKKa is crucial for activating NF-kB during skin and skeletal development in the embryo.